El Salvador (blue jersey) can build upon its good performances in recent friendlies against Ivory Coast and Spain. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
LANDOVER, Maryland – Despite falling 2-0 to Spain in a friendly played Saturday at FedEx Field, El Salvador head coach Albert declared pride in his team’s efforts against the reigning world champion.
It took the Spanish an hour to get on the scoreboard through David Villa and they didn’t do it again until the recent New York City FC signing completed his brace in the encounter’s final minutes. All in all, the Salvadorans left all observers with a good impression, especially new head coach Albert Roca
“I am proud of the team, when barely 15 days ago we started this project,” said Roca. “We knew that it was going to be difficult due to the circumstances that the team previously experienced.
“As such, the results obtained in these two matches (friendlies against Ivory Coast and Spain) are of merit. I should congratulate my players, but we also should not hide that we had little fight in the first ten minutes (against Spain) and we made mistakes. It was a disastrous beginning and the boys overcame their inexperience to start developing our game.”
The 51-year-old Catalonian also acknowledged that the team needs to improve, especially with September’s Copa Centroamericana looming large.
“If this group has anything to spare, it is hope,” Roca continued. “We came to recover the confidence of the Salvadoran fans, who are knowledgeable about this sport.
“The team showed its face against the world champion. I cannot criticize my players. I asked them before this tour that we demonstrate an attitude to tell everyone that this is a generation that wants to change the path of this sport in their country. We are aware that we need to improve. There’s much left to do. You have to keep working. We recently started and like any new project we wanted to start in this way, with confidence and effort so that the people remain upbeat and be able to keep following.”
Currently, El Salvador has no games scheduled ahead of the Copa Centroamericana, which will be played September 3-13, in the United States.